The Good: Good concept, Decent detailing, Fine balance.
The Bad: Articulation has since been improved upon.
The Basics: For those looking for a variation on the standard Han Solo in Carbonite figure, the Saga Collection offers a fair alternative, even if there's not much that can be done with it.
For those who might not follow my many action figure reviews, there are two things that readers ought to know: 1. I am very tired of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader action figures and 2. I am a huge fan of Han Solo in carbonite. What happens when those two things come into direct conflict with one another? Well, the Saga Collection Han Solo figure with the variant Han Solo In Carbonite block illustrated that I'd buy it (or encourage my wife to get it for me as a gift!) for the Carbonite block, but I'd be all too happy to get rid of the Han Solo action figure that was the supposed selling point of the figure. Indeed, for those who are into it for the Han Solo figure, the Legacy Collection remade this particular Han Solo from Return Of The Jedi without the Carbonite block and with greater, more realistic, articulation.
For those unfamiliar with Han Solo, he began Return Of The Jedi (reviewed here!) frozen in a block of carbonite. Thawed in the clutches of Jabba The Hutt, he was taken out into the desert to die at the Sarlacc Pit. There, Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian and R2-D2 engineered a daring escape, helping to rescue Han.
The 4" Han Solo figure from the Saga Collection is Han Solo as he appeared on the Skiff while being taken out to die. The primary accessory is the Carbonite Block, clearly from Return Of The Jedi as it is cast in part in red plastic to embody the block as it melted.
The Han Solo figure stands 3 3/4" tall and is a fair approximation of Harrison Ford as Han Solo. He is clad in the white shirt and purple-brown pants he was seen in on Tatooine. This casting is fairly decent, but exceptionally simple. The face features Ford's strong nose and hair that looks shaggy from being windswept in the desert. The pants featured a textured stripe up each outside side and the belt he wears features molded details like the buckle and holes. Even Solo's fingers feature molded fingernails.
As for the coloring, Han Solo is cast in a monotonal peach plastic for the hands and head which lack any realistic depth or shading. Where Hasbro impresses on the coloring details is in the way the outfit looks worn and the hair is not monotonal. Solo's white shirt features a rust-colored stain across the chest and his pants feature muddy splotches, which remind one instantly that Han Solo fell into a pool of dank water in the cell he was thrown into in Jabba's palace.
Han Solo is the Rebel and smuggler and this iteration features two primary accessories, the skiff guard staff and the Carbonite block. The skiff guard staff is a 3 1/4" long pole with a paddle at one end with molded bits that appear to be controls. The business end of the staff does not look deadly, but looks like it would be annoying to be repeatedly poked with. The staff is cast in a monotonal gunmetal colored plastic without any real embellishments. Either - or both - hand of Han Solo can be used to hold the staff.
The primary reason I could find to buy the Saga Collection Han Solo is for the Carbonite block accessory. This 1 1/8" wide by 4" tall by 7/8" deep accessory is an inanimate, hollow block. The block is cast in steel-gray plastic and features the form of Han Solo pressing his way out of the block frozen gas. The Carbonite block looks just like it did in The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, save that the sides have the cast details of the block, but not the coloring details of it. As a result, the controls are not colored to look lit or active. What differentiates this Carbonite block from all others is that the torso and face of Han Solo in the Carbonite block are cast in red plastic, like the brief moments Han Solo was being released from the carbonite in Return Of The Jedi. This accessory is pretty cool in that it may be backlit to make it look like the block is melting as well! Sure, this has exceptionally low playability, but it is pretty cool nonetheless.
Han Solo does come with a stand which was emblematic of the 2006 Saga Collection series. The stand is a 2 1/2" wide by 1 1/2" deep by 1/8" tall stand that is gunmetal colored with the name Han Solo - Carbonite on the front. The holes in either of Solo's feet fit the peg on the stand and allow him to stand completely stable. As well, Solo fits well on the Legacy Collection skiff!
Like all of the 2006 Saga Collection figures, Han Solo features a hologram figure. Han Solo comes with a 2" tall blue Luke Skywalker hologram inaction figure. The game piece-like figure is solid blue and features Luke Skywalker with his lightsaber drawn and ready to defend the Rebellion.
The four inch toy line was designed for play and Han Solo is fairly good in that regard, though he is less cool than many of figures contemporary to this one. Han Solo has decent balance on or off his stand, which makes him good for play or display. This Han Solo is articulated at the groin socket, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck. While the head is on a ball and socket joint, all of the other points of articulation are simple swivel joints. This gives him limited poseability and his leg articulation is comparatively poor given that he has no ankle or knee articulation.
Han Solo is part of the Saga line that was released in 2006. Han Solo is 2006 Saga Collection figure #002. Han Solo was fairly common and demand for it was easily met. Because Han Solos are so prevalent, this ended up as a pegwarmer in the few places that stocked this toy. As such, this is not a great investment toy.
The Han Solo with different Carbonite block might have been adequate at the time, but with the improved articulation of subsequent Tatooine Han Solo figures, the only reason to pick this one up is to have a marginally different Carbonite block in one's collection.
For other figures from the 2006 Saga Collection, please check out my reviews of:
001 Princess Leia as Boushh
003 Bib Fortuna
005 X-Wing Pilot Luke Skywalker
007 General Veers
022 Firespeeder Pilot
031 Momaw Nadon
033 Hem Dazon
071 Kitik Keed'Kak
Episode III Heroes And Villains Collection 9 of 12 General Grievous
For other Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!
© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.